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Between the whip and the bonfire: slavery and Portuguese inquisition in the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries

Grant number: 17/04244-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): January 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Alexandre Ferreira
Grantee:Monique Marques Nogueira Lima
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/14786-6 - Writings on new worlds: a history of the construction of moral values in Portuguese, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):17/27084-0 - Between the whip and the bonfire: slavery and portuguese Inquisition between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries., BE.EP.DR


The Holy Office of the Portuguese Inquisition, as the main Court of the Church, judged and sentenced, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, crimes against the faith and against the catholic morality. Records of this ritual were left in lengthy and detailed proceedings instituted to investigate allegations of heresy. Among different reports, the presence of Africans and your descendants accused at the inquisitorial court was not unusual. In view of these aspects and considering the specialized studies, the present research project has as general objective to understand how the Portuguese Inquisition mediated and became aware about the dynamics of slavery in the kingdom and in the Portuguese colony of America, limiting the ancestral religious practices of the slaves and supervising their daily activities and the dealing with the owners and other people of their conviviality. In order to do so, based mainly on the analysis of the inquisitorial records available in the National Archive of Torre do Tombo (ANTT), in addition to the inquisition rules, other documents of the court (nefando notebooks, promoter's notebooks) and juridics works of the time, it is proposed to map the types of heresies attributed to Africans and their descendants and, as a matter of priority, to observe how the inquisitorial action interfered in the contact between slaves and their owners. With special attention to the cases that refer to the so-called magical-religious practices and to those classified as moral deviations (in particular a sodomy), it is assumed as hypothesis to be verified the idea that these types of crimes have become the principal reasons of accusation and denunciation that insert the Inquisition as intermediary in the typical conflicts of the modern slavery. The temporal delimitation of the work focuses fundamentally on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the flow of Africans to the Portuguese colony of America deepened and when the Inquisition gradually expanded the typology of crimes under your jurisdiction. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
LIMA, Monique Marques Nogueira. Between the whip and the bonfire: slavery and the Portuguese Inquisition in the 17th and 18th centuries. 2021. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais. Franca Franca.

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